murmuration: watch this and feel better

SO WHAT IF IT’S A COUPLE OF MONTHS OLD–positively ancient in internet times. Watching this short film of a murmuration, or gathering, of starlings lent perspective and poetry to the start of a new day. Thanks to my friends Josh and Brent of Beekman1802 for pointing out Sophie Windsor Clive and Liberty Smith’s video, shot on the River Shannon in Ireland. I ought to lift my head up out of this book manuscript more often before too much more life flies by. Want to hear about some of the other collective nouns used to describe groups of particular birds? Try this short radio clip from KPIU, the Seattle NPR affiliate.

13 comments
December 15, 2011

comments

  1. Terryk says

    That was amazing to watch. I have seen the birds in the fall swooping into the tall reed grass in the evening but nothing like these numbers. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Dana says

    I have another for you. On YouTube… it’s called Starlings on Otmoor.

    It never fails to lift my heart… and you’ve got to love the narrator’s pure joy in the moment!

    Thanks Margaret!

  3. Jenetta says

    This video gives me chills every time I watch it. I love seeing things like this that lets me know animals celebrate life as well.

  4. Michelle Beissel says

    Wonderful! I have seen a few films of murmurations. However, the other late afternoon, stormy with rain and wind, I just happened to be at a window holding our 8 month kitten to let him know why he best stay indoors. He agreed. Suddenly a murmuration flew over the house, just yards above us, swirling and creating waves of dark speckled movement. It was glorious. And then about 10 minutes later, they repeated the murmuration. I felt so privileged to have experienced it. Though I live on an edge of a small city in southwest France, there are many starlings around (among other species), for which I keep several bird baths in my potager.

  5. TomW says

    Very nice – thanks Margaret! This is a good reminder that even though it is cold and grey outside, it is also a good time for bird watching. Nothing like a quick paddle out to see the birds! Out here on the coast of our side of the continent, we are treated to the large flocks of sandpipers – especially during Spring migration. Here is an example:

    http://vimeo.com/4732179

    I forget who but I remember someone had described this to a blind person and explained it as if throwing a large net in the air and swooshing it around.

  6. Judy says

    That is the coolest thing! In my area..central NJ…I’ve seen a murmuration (new word for me, thought it was flock), but not as big as the one in the video. Driving down the road by me, a lot of starlings were standing in the road. I slowed down, gave a couple of little toots…they finally took off. It was weird, never have seen that before. The one in the video is amazing…looks like a dance of sorts, especially with the background music. How they all turn on a dime all at once is something! Thanks for sharing the video!

  7. Laura says

    I know I am late in responding to this post, but everytime I watch this clip it brings tears to my eyes. I have come back to it many times and it just makes me feel so happy! Thanks for the post….

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